Date: 19th September 2007 at 4:41pm
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For most – myself included – Pedro Mendes would be one of the first names on the team sheet each week, but this has not been he case so far this season.

He has been left out of the most recent starting line ups, the squad for the Liverpool match completely, but telling the Daily Express Harry Redknapp has assured him of his future: ‘There’s absolutely no problem with Pedro. He will get back into the side.

‘He wasn’t in the 16 against Liverpool because I had to balance up the bench go give me defensive and attacking options’.

To be honest, perhaps I am biased because I think he is such a classy player, I cannot see how Mendes cant not play, but with Sulley Muntari a virtual certainty – with him almost wasted on the left, so it will be in the middle – and Sean Davis very much in favour, with Papa Bouba Diop very much one of Redknapp’s ‘boys’, with him praising him to the maximum since his arrival, not to mention the fact that he keeps stressing how important ‘a powerful midfield’ is to him I am starting to worry, but then again I have worries over other people too!

In all honesty Mendes has not been the same since his double attack from Ben Thatcher and then Joey Barton, which is understandable, so maybe psychologically he could still be suffering from this?

The strength of the midfield gives Redknapp options but Mendes has to be one of the names in there, but then again so does Niko Kranjcar, Sulley Muntari, John Utaka and Matty Taylor so one or more will be unhappy unless Redknapp plays five in midfield, which he could with the five, but then he has to go for the 3-5-2, which he does not favour, nor do the players, or the dreaded 4-5-1.

It is a tough job for Redknapp but with respect to the fella, who was fantastic on Saturday, Bouba Diop is not – in my thinking – the type of player to help move us forward, Mendes is, so I hope he is not forgotten – which if Redknapp is telling it as it is, he will not.

PLAY UP POMPEY!

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